It's the 15th birthday for the video of Britney Spears' iconic first smash single, "...Baby One More Time"—which started with the 16-year-old wearing a Catholic school girl shirt tied to expose the abs, and eventually led to Spears shaving her head and smashing a SUV with a golf umbrella. But "Baby" is where it all started, and The Beast interviews the video's original director to get the skinny on how it all came to be. Here's a taste:
The iconic part of the video, obviously, is the school outfit. Whose idea was that?
That was Britney’s again.
So she’s the one who wanted to wear that!?
Well, I directed the wardrobe person to go and get wardrobe that I felt and thought kids would wear at school. And, again, being a grown man, I didn’t spend my time hanging out in kids’ schools. But you drive around, you see kids coming back from school, catching the bus, and what not. And they all seemed to wear jeans and t-shirts and have backpacks on. So we got a whole bunch of stuff like that. Britney took one look at all this and said, “Well, wouldn’t I be wearing a schoolgirl outfit?” I sort of went, “uhh, I don’t know about that.” Both my producer and the lady from wardrobe thought it was OK.
Why didn’t you think it was a good idea?
I raised a red flag and said, “Let’s take a step back for a minute. Are we sure this is a good idea?” And, of course, then, being women, they saw a completely innocent version of it. Then we went with it.
Read the rest here, and check out "...Baby One More Time" for old-time's sake. Brit's dead-eye stare and one of the best group dance sequences outside of "Thriller" is still there, joyfully intact.
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